Mackle out of limbo and back in first-team squad

Sean Mackle. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Sean Mackle. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
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Sean Mackle’s Portadown career appears back on track after a return to training for the long-serving midfield man.

Mackle and Mark McAllister were both axed from the senior squad earlier in the season as a disciplinary measure by manager Pat McGibbon.

McGibbon, who resigned from the first-team role on October 14, took the decision with the full backing of the Board of Directors.

Both players had been informed by McGibbon that the Ports would listen to offers in the January transfer window.

They had been ordered to train with the club’s under 19s as the reserves and firsts work together midweek.

However, behind-the-scenes discussions resulted in Mackle taking part in training last Thursday alongside the first-team players.

He played for the reserves last weekend and rejoined the senior panel this week for training.

“Sean came back in last week and has looked good in training,” said interim Portadown manager Vinny Arkins. “He knows he still needs to improve his fitness levels but is working towards a return to selection.

“Under the circumstances we need everyone pulling in the same direction and for everyone to dig in.

“It is important that people do not listen to views from outside the club as often they do not have the best interests of Portadown at heart.

“Everyone needs to be working together, from the top of the club down and including the fans.

“The atmosphere was excellent at Shamrock Park on Saturday against Ards and that backing really makes a difference.

“We face a huge task and people must be realistic but that unity going into every match can be crucial.”

It is understood that the McAllister situation remains unresolved, with any talks taking place between senior club officials and the player.